Exactly when people started shooting projectiles using slingshots is not known. But whenever they are used, everyone wants to do it proficiently, so as to hit the target accurately. Following are some tips that will instruct you on how to use a slingshot properly.
A typical slingshot is made up of a Y-shaped bark cut from a tree, rubber tubes, and a rectangular piece of leather. A rubber tube is attached to each fork tip of the bark. Custom-made slingshots, also called catapults, are made of wood, plastic, metal wire, aluminum, brass, buffalo horns or deer antlers and are available with various accessory instruments.
Shooting a Slingshot
- Grip the handle in the middle using your less dominant hand. If your slingshot is equipped with a wrist-hold, then hold the handle by inserting your hand up and through the wrist-hold. which will come to rest on the top of your forearm.
- Ammunition is available in different forms. You can use small stones or lead balls for the custom-made slingshots.
- Place the ammunition in the center of leather pouch. Fold the pouch over it and then clutch the fold firmly, without letting go of the ammunition, using the thumb, middle and index finger of your prominent hand. Keep a firm, but steady grip on the projectile.
- To increase chances of your projectile hitting the target, hold the slingshot vertically. Some players shoot the ammunition by holding the slingshot horizontally. But holding it vertically will make the shot more accurate. Keep your wrist and forearm aligned.
- To increase the accuracy of your shot, place the toes of your foot on the side of your non-prominent hand, pointing at and in line with the target. You can do this by turning your body slightly towards the target and placing the foot in front of your body.
- Keep the arm gripping the slingshot straight, extended and pointing at the target. Keep it parallel to the ground. Pull the leather pouch straight back close to your cheek, by exerting a steady pull with your other hand.
- See to it that the rubber tubes on the both sides of leather pouch are parallel to the forearm of your hand holding the slingshot, and perpendicular to its handle. Look at the target through the ‘Y’. Try to maintain its position between the fork. Take your time and release the pouch gently.
- Try to see the path the projectile has taken. This will help you in making adjustments for the next shot, if you missed the target on your first attempt.
Following are a few tips that you might find helpful.
- Before shooting a projectile at the target, if you need to adjust your aim, then do it by moving your slingshot arm. Move it up or down to the right or left side, and then move your body sideways to accommodate the adjustment.
- Do not let your wrist and the elbow of the hand holding it slacken.
- Use goggles to protect your eyes, because at times, the ammunition after hitting the target ricochets.
- You should put on gloves to protect your slingshot hand, in case the leather pouch on being discharged hits it.
- The size of the projectile must not be larger than that of the leather pouch. Such ammunition is difficult to control while discharging it and you might end up with an injured hand.
When rubber is exposed to sunlight, it loses its elasticity. For this reason, it must always be stored in cool places. Slingshots are useful to professionals like arborists, who are specialists in treating trees. In the United Kingdom, a slingshot is called a catapult or ‘catty’ and is used for hunting rabbits, hares, pheasants, geese, ducks, pigeons, doves and rooks. Professional hunters use lead balls as projectiles. If you follow these guidelines while enjoying this activity, it will help you to master the slingshot. Have a great time!